The advantages of biomass for rural electrification in
We hear from Anjali Shanker, the Managing Director of IED,
ARE’s member from France providing technical, economic, financial, regulatory
and social services on power sector issues, rural services, renewable sources
of energy and energy efficiency, and sustainable development.
(Innovatie Energie Developpement), a French consulting and engineering firm,
has more than 60 employees based in Europe, Africa and South East Asia. It has
established a subsidiary in Cambodia - Cambodia Consulting Development
Engineering Co., Ltd (CCDE), employing 15 people and being involved in rural
electrification projects. In 2011 IED Group established a sister company IED
Invest to develop, finance and operate small renewable energy projects.
CCDE with its strong field experience will be the operator of the renewable
energy unit and will be selling to a local distributer, a Rural Electrification
Entreprise (REE). The selected REEs have successfully managed a
network with very low default rates for the clients.
IED, together with its
local partner CCDE, implemented The Sustainable Rural Electrification Master
Plan (SREP) which was officially endorsed by the Ministry of Industry, Mines
and Energy of Cambodia (MIME) in April 2011. The SREP identified a high
potential for the introduction of renewable energy supply for small isolated
Rural Electrification Enterprises currently operating with diesel/fuel. Among
the 200 existing diesel mini-grids with very high production costs due to
inefficient gensets and poor design of distribution systems, any opportunity
for the development in rural areas is currently prevented. These
constraints have a strong impact in terms of energy access to the poorest,
sustainability of the service and greenhouse gas emissions. One
example of a possible renewable energy solution is the rice husk gasification
project in Char Chuck, Siem Riep Province.
The Char Chuck Commune consists of 20 villages, of which
only four (500 households) are supplied with intermittent power by a Rural
Electrification Enterprise, operating since 2006 and running an old and very
inefficient diesel genset, and having a long distribution network which has
high loss levels. The district capital is located in the Commune, which means
there are substantial rice production and milling activities going on,
and a large number of potential clients are present, such as telecom
antennas providers, welders, ice makers, local health center, local bank, and
Given the local
availability of rice husk, IED with a strong support of the Ministry of
Industry, Mines and Energy, in collaboration with the Electricity Authority of
Cambodia and with co-financing from UNIDO, is setting up a rice husk
gasification unit. It comprises a 150 KW gasifier, a dual fuel genset and a
100% gas genset, which will provide 24h power to the local Rural
Electrification Enterprise. The distribution network has been upgraded
to reduce losses by at least 30%.
The target is to achieve
a 50% increase in the number of customers in 5 years, provide additional
services with a positive social and economic impact, achieve about 30% decrease
in the end-user tariff, 30% decrease in generation cost, improve financial
sustainability of the local operator, and achieve more than a 50% decrease in
CO2 emissions per kWh. Hopefully, tariff and service levels allowing for
productive uses will be achieved, such as irrigation, serving the telecom relays,
cooling produce, ,and improvement of living conditions of the poorest, whose
consumption level is highly determined by the tariff.
Providing a cheaper and clean source of power will have a
positive impact on welfare and health, as well as the environment – and will
contribute at a local level to achieving the MDGs.
There are a large number of rice mills in Cambodia, which
means there is an excess of husk which can be harnessed in a number of
Provinces. In other areas, different forms of biomass offer opportunities, such
as residues from rubber plantations, corn, cashew nut areas and others.
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